Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) and Seminole State College of Florida are partnering to allow students to complete their Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree while they earn their high school diploma.
The option, which begins in the 2014-15 school year, will be offered to students who attend Crooms Academy of Information Technology (AOIT).
Members of the class of 2016 at Crooms (current 10thgrade students) will be the first group who are eligible to pursue the new dual enrollment high school diploma/A.A. degree option, which was first announced at the December school board meeting.
“This opportunity will provide a tremendous educational and economic benefit to the many Crooms students who choose to participate. The ability to offer such an amazing program is just another product of the strong partnership between the leadership here at SCPS and that of Seminole State,” said SCPS Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin.
A customized “course map” to graduation will be presented to all eligible students and their parents at meetings this month to help them make an informed decision about whether to participate in this accelerated option, Griffin said.
Although each student’s pathway to the two-year college degree will be slightly different depending on elective choices and Advanced Placement (AP) credits, highlights of the course sequence include:
- Ninth and 10th grades: Crooms students will continue to take high school courses and dual-enrollment technology electives on-site. Students will be encouraged to meet some high school graduation requirements, such as world languages, through virtual courses during the summer.
- Juniors: Participating students will take a combination of face-to-face and dual enrollment classes at Crooms.
- Seniors: Students will transition to take some dual enrollment courses face-to-face at Seminole State, with transportation provided, as well as Seminole State courses scheduled so that students still can participate in Crooms electives at the beginning and end of the school day. Whenever possible, dual enrollment General Education courses will be scheduled to keep Crooms students together with the same Seminole State instructor.
Once the students successfully earn their high school diploma and A.A. degree, they can then continue their studies toward a bachelor’s degree at Seminole State or at one of Florida’s state universities. Students can also seamlessly transfer to the University of Central Florida through DirectConnect to UCF.
The new degree option is the latest in a series of partnerships between SCPS and Seminole State. Last fall, Seminole State and SCPS completed an agreement that and increased dual-enrollment participation by 38 percent over Fall Term 2012, introducing new programs and courses. Students in dual enrollment do not pay for their classes or books.
“Seminole State College and Seminole County Public Schools are dedicated to increasing the opportunities for education for Central Florida students,” said Dr. Laura Ross, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Seminole State. “We are reducing the cost of higher education by offering students the opportunity to complete their first two years of college at no cost to them.”